Fired up about safety, Sea-Tac fuelers deliver a strike notice.

By Nathan Jackson

“This here is a broken gear shift,” Alex Popescu, an Aircraft Service International Group,(ASIG) fueler said pointing at a blown up picture of a 5,000 gallon fuel truck gear shift. “ASIG fixed it as you can see, with good ol’ duct tape.”

Alex pointing to a picture of the broken gear shift in a 5000 gallon fuel truck fixed by duct tape.

ASIG is a poverty wage contractor hired by Alaska Airlines. This contractor treats workers poorly requiring them to work with shoddy equipment.

When Sea-Tac fueler Alex Popescu brought up workplace safety issues like soft brakes and taped up gear shifts to ASIG management, they ignored him. When Alex brought his safety concerns to the Port of Seattle in public forums, and then reported a broken truck to his manager, ASIG suspended him.

Workers have had enough.

Continue reading

Workers begin reaching out to passengers over safety & fairness issues

Sea-Tac fueler Alex Popescu saw something, he said something, and he was suspended for it. That’s what prompted fuelers to announce today that they have voted to authorize a strike over workplace safety and rights at ASIG, a low-wage airport contractor responsible for safely fueling 75% of flights at Sea-Tac.

In August, Alex testified before the Port of Seattle and showed photos of faulty equipment that affect the safety of ASIG workers. On September 12, he reported broken equipment on a truck he was supposed to drive. He was then suspended indefinitely, and has not been allowed back to work since.

Today, Alex’s co-workers were joined by faith and community leaders to demand that safety issues like soft brakes on fuel trucks, faulty fuel nozzles, and broken ladders be addressed, and that Alex be reinstated to his job. Workers should have the right to speak out on workplace safety and rights without being penalized for it.

Continue reading

Port of Seattle meeting disrupted by hazardous situation—a work shirt.

by Thea Levkovitz

Sea-Tac airport fueler, Alex Popescu, sat down before the Port of Seattle Commission on Tuesday, reached into the trash bag he had brought and pulled out his jet fuel soaked work shirt. Every day, fueling Alaska Airlines planes with broken down hoses and equipment, his uniform and those of his co-workers get sprayed and soaked with jet fuel.

While he showed the panel an array of other safety issues, from dangerously damaged ladders to faulty nozzles, the fumes arising from his work shirt permeated the commission chamber. The smell got so bad that Alex had barely finished his short two minutes of testimony when he was told that he had to take his work clothing out of the room because it was a fire hazard.

Continue reading